I have something of a mantra that I often say. It’s not swanky or cute, it’s not original nor is it exceptionally inspiring. But I say it a lot. “Better days ahead!” It’s a proclamation, a reminder of the promise that ‘This, too, shall pass.’
My ears, my heart, my spirit need to hear this. And, for those to whom I say it, it is meant for the same purpose. Whatever is seemingly difficult, we will get through it. On the other side, wherever that is, we will be able to take a breath and all will be easier.
Somehow, someday, someway…. Even if we cannot clearly define the coordinates in our heads, our hearts seem to know them. ‘Better days’ are a destination where our struggles are not so wearisome. We will know joy, harmony of our efforts, and peace. Who cares what that looks like. We just know we yearn for it.
The thing about going through a long season, is that we stop fully believing that better days really do exist. Like air that slowly seeps from a balloon over time, we are less buoyant. Our struggles consume us to the degree that we are resigned to thinking that life is just always going to be this way. We grieve the past as being our happy years, and believe our ho hum existence is all that awaits now. We temper our expectations and our resolve…Best not get our hopes up.
We want to believe there is more for us, but what if our hope comes to nothing?
The thing that I know about God, is that He is always at work. He knows where He wants to take us and when we will get there. Even when we feel we are aimlessly muddling through, He has plotted the coordinates of our new season. Our faith, our trust in Him, ensures that we get there.
There is an analogy that I love, about the distance that it takes for a cruise ship to turn in the ocean. Incrementally, and over a span of miles, slowly the turn is made. Those that are aboard are unaware that they are drifting in a new direction. Only the captain does.
I think that there is a danger we all face when we pray for breakthrough, a thunder strike answer to our struggles, our heartaches, our loneliness. We think we are going to open our front door one morning and standing there will be Prince Charming, his arms filled with red roses and an invitation to the ball. Other people speak of moments when they meet someone special, get hired for the perfect job, or gain from an unexpected windfall.
Other people do…. But we dare to believe that they will for us.
Although I know things happen like this, and have happened for me, I believe that God answers prayer more purposefully. Sometimes, that means He’s got to take care of a few things first. Maybe there are passengers aboard that need to disembark. Maybe there are storms that require Him to reroute our course. We can’t always know what the captain knows. All we can know is that we will get there and that it usually takes time. We are being turned in the right direction, even when the waters feel choppy and we are uncertain.
He always knows what He’s doing.
We have to fight the tide of unbelief. We have to stop listing in our heads all the reasons why things will never change or why, logically, we should should not expect more than what we have. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What better way than to take from us our hope. What better way than to steal our better days before they come.
It is in the distance of the turning that He is working in us. He is working on our patience, our endurance, our faith. He wants us ready so that when we arrive, we will know that we endured because He carried us. Somehow, it will all make sense.
He wants us to know that the journey had a purpose.
To be honest, I don’t fully understand why I feel so compelled to say so often that better days are ahead. Whether it is a nervous quip, prophetic, or I am just a gal who likes the affirmation that saying it brings. Whatever the reason, I sense that when I say it, it is Truth.
God’s love and promises will bring us exactly where He intends for us. Even when you feel you are drifting. Even when you lose sight - and hope - that better days will truly come.
Stay the course…. Keep your eyes on the horizon. Know that He is bringing you there. Even if your destination looks different than you imagined it should, He is the captain and He knows what lies ahead.
Better days will come.